Psychology Handbook for a Windy World is a Catholic Christian psychology text for high school.
Because the discipline of psychology as a distinct field began in a manner that separated it from moral theology or even from ethical or moral philosophy, it is sometimes difficult to work out the relationship between the conclusions of professional psychologists and the religious insights of Catholic or other Christian teachers, or, for that matter, of any community of religious belief.
This text begins by describing the fundamental issue of the relationship between body and soul, without which there would be no confusion and no separate discipline: clearly, the body inhabits the physical world and responds to its imperatives; clearly truth, goodness, and beauty are not physical concepts, still less is holiness a physical matter. Yet they are joined in each one of us.
The text goes on to present a detailed affirmation of the union of body and soul, and then a definition of the words that are used in relation to soul: mind, person, heart, spirit, psyche, etc.
The text then covers the basic themes of psychology — human development and its supports and impediments, — human individuality including character, temperament, and human relationships, and then a history of the discipline. The student views each topic in relation to the moral and spiritual teachings of the Church in order to present a unified picture of the development of the individual, and the activities which foster that development, within himself, within his social setting, and in the wide (and windy) world.
This text has a Nihil Obstat and an Imprimatur from the diocese of Sioux Falls. This does not mean that it “is” Catholic doctrine but only that it contains no material opposed to the faith (Nihil obstat - no obstacle) and that it could be used in a Catholic school (Imprimatur - let it be printed – for such a use.)
It is my hope that this handbook will help you to approach the basic issues of psychology and think them through in a manner supportive of a stable self-understanding and a vibrant life of faith.
[Mary Daly is a month away from completing a Masters degree in Psychology.]